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Last sync:2023-11-09 14:15
In which Hank sits on a fire escape in London and talks a bit about what he learned from VidCon.

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Good morning, John!

I was at VidCon, now I'm at LeakyCon. This is London, back there. I'm on a fire escape. That's pretty cool.
Next week, I'll be at Summer In The City. Three cons in three weeks. Ah, we'll see how I feel after that.
London has been treating me nicely, aside from a little bit of jet lag. Also recording an entirely vlog with the sound being really messed up so it sounds like this:

(with distorted sound)
Wow, what did I just walk through?
Oh, I found a, I found a spinny table.

So I know that the vast majority of people who want to go to VidCon can't go to VidCon, so I don't want to talk about how great VidCon was. So instead I wanna talk about some of the things that I learned at VidCon.

For example, that my feet can hurt really bad for a really long time before they stop working. Also, that if you're stressed out for two weeks straight, there will be some residual stress even after there's nothing left to be stressed out about, and that kind of stinks. Also, I learned that Michael Buckley knows when you need a hug the way my dogs knows when you have a french fry. And I learned that Jack and Finn are exactly as intelligent, personable, fun, kind, and attractive as you would expect them to be.

I learned that creators on the internet who seem pretty weird are, in fact, pretty normal in real life. Aside from WheezyWaiter, who is legit weird.

I learned that extreme stress makes me sleepy, which is actually super convenient.

I learned that PBS is probably the most innovative and successful legacy media company in online video. Which, at first, seems odd until you realize that PBS has always focused not on content that gets views, but content that gets loved. This has actually given them a leg up, because in the world of infinite content and free distribution, the relationship between the content and the viewer is the only thing that matters.

I also learned that pretty much every other legacy media company out there has not yet learned this lesson, which I find both frustrating. and kind of beautiful.

I learned from Josh Sundquist that concentrating on the two percent of stuff that you can't do and ignoring the ninety-eight percent of stuff that you can do is idiotic.

I learned from Ze Frank that I am a human, and I learned from Freddie Wong that you can revive a dead YouTuber if you get enough people to sing to their corpse.

I also really came to grips with the idea that being active instead of reactive is important, to me at least. What I mean when I say that is that instead of reacting to things that happen, I think about what my values are and what I think should exist and how things should be and act based on that; not based on external factors but based on internal factors.

Over the last four years at VidCon, we've had a lot of people telling us various things to do with the conference. You know, sell it to a big media company or take investment, or, you know, do whatever the sponsors tell us to do, or grow to twenty thousand people. And saying no to those ideas always always always has been the best thing, maybe not for the bottom line of my wallet, but, you know, for the conference, and also I think for my happiness.

Even, like, just starting VidCon was an active move, like, no one was telling me to do that. I remember the day I launched the conference, staring at my phone and panicking because one person had bought a ticket after three hours, and that was really really super scary. So thanks to Martha Stroud, the first person to ever buy a ticket to VidCon. She was there this year and had some amazing things to say, which I really appreciated. She rocks. We should just give her a lifetime pass.

And finally, I learned that I think, uh, though being out of your depth is a really hard and uncomfortable place to be, it's probably good place to be. It's kind of a cool place to be, as long as you have a lot of support. Like I have a lot of support from my wife and my parents and from an amazing team who supports VidCon, volunteers, creators, and all of the people who have either ever gone or ever wanted to go to a VidCon...I'm in your debt. Thank you for supporting me even though often times I don't really know what I'm doing.

John, sorry you couldn't be here at LeakyCon London. Pretty fun, but I'm glad you're back with the family, and I'll see you on Tuesday. Maybe I can get some people to say hi.

(various people)
Hi John.
Hi John.
Hello John.
Hi John.
Hi John!
Hey John.
Hi John. Hey John.
Hi John, I miss you.
Hi John, we miss you. Come here, please.
My dearest John, I wish you were here, I love you, ahh...